Recycling FAQs

Find out all you need to know about recycling in our district including what can and can't go in your recycling bin, where items that don't belong in your kerbside bins can be recycled, how to get a recycling bin, what to do with greenwaste and more.

Did you know that all recycling in the Wellington region is largely hand sorted? Watch this video to find out about what happens at a recycling plant and why it is so important to make sure you are doing it right!

Find out all you need to know about recycling in our district below:   

Didn't find an answer to your question here? Please contact for more info.

What can go in my recycling bin?

Everything we put in our recycling crates and bins will be handled be someone - please keep it clean!

  • Items with numbers 1 to 7 printed inside a triangle (except foamed polystyrene).

  • Remove lids. They have to go in the rubbish.

  • No soft plastics e.g. shopping bags and packaging.


  • Rinsed bottles and jars.
  • Lids must go in your rubbish bin.
  • No broken glass.
          Aluminium & steel cans
  • Clean and squash them flat (if you can).
  • Include the tops inside the can.
          Paper & cardboard
  • Flattened and clean.
  • E.g. cardboard packaging, newspapers, brochures, office paper, magazines, books, clean pizza boxes, egg cartons, window envelopes.

 Download the kerbside recycling guide here.

What you cannot put in your recycling bin

Please do not put theses items in your recyling bin:

  • Polystyrene – including meat trays, hot drinks cups and packaging
  • Soft plastics – including shopping bags, shrink wrap, bubble wrap, chippie packets, chocolate bar wrappers etc. The Soft Plastics Recycling scheme is currently on hold until April 2019. Find out more. For tips on how to reduce your single-use plastic consumption read on here.
  • Clothing or shoes – take to drop off bins for re-usable and recyclable clothing and shoes
  • Oils or paint tins
  • Scrap metal
  • Broken glass – frosted glass, window glass, mirrors, broken bottles
  • Drinking glasses or cups, pyrex, crystals, ceramics, pottery or kitchenware
  • Light bulbs
  • Milk and juice cartons or any other mixed paper products
  • Contaminated paper – greasy pizza boxes, wall paper or any other paper contaminated by glue, wax or food
  • Greasy food containers, take away coffee cups
  • Soiled tissues and paper towels

Why you can’t put certain things in your bin

Dirty or food-contaminated material: This can't be hygienically stored and processed for recycling and may attract pests. If there are contaminated items in your bin, the whole contents of your bin can no longer be used for recycling.

Examples of contaminated items are polystyrene meat trays, take away food packaging and soiled tissues. These items will always contain some food/fluid residue which makes them no longer usable for recycling. That is why you need to put these items into your regular rubbish..

Broken glass: Any glass that is broken can potentially hurt someone else and that's why you can't put broken glass jars and bottles in your recycling crate or wheelie-bin. Small items like broken drinking glasses or regular light bulbs can be put in your rubbish when they have been properly and sufficiently wrapped in newspaper.

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Where can I recycle things that can't go in the recycling bin?

Transfer stations

The district's transfer stations accept a range of materials for recycling and safe disposal. Check out locations and opening hours here, and fees and charges here.

The following items can be dropped off free-of-charge for recycling or safe disposal:

  • Kerbside recyclables (Waikanae, Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Large (flattened) cardboard boxes (Waikanae, Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Paint (Otaihanga, or ask your retailer if you can return tins)
  • Batteries, including car batteries (Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Cellphones (Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Fluorescent light bulbs including eco-bulbs (Otaihanga)
  • Plastic agrichemical containers (Ōtaki, first Tuesday of each month, 9am-3pm; check for details)
  • Reusable items (Otaihanga and Ōtaki reuse shop)

The following items can be dropped off for recycling or safe disposal (recycling fees apply):

  • TVs and CRT Monitors (Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Fridges and freezers (Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Tyres (Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Waste oil (Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Gas bottles and fire extinguishers (Otaihanga, Ōtaki)
  • Child car seats (Otaihanga) - see for more information

Note: Glass items like broken mirrors, window glass or broken Pyrex bowls must be disposed of as general waste - please do not put these items in the glass recycling drop-off bins. In most cases, the local glass crusher in Ōtaki is able to take window glass. For more details, call 027 270 8206 or visit

Other drop off facilities throughout the district:

Clothing bins for used clothing and rags (many also accept toys and bric-a-brac) and charity shops for reusable items. Check the Op Shop Directory to find your nearest charity shop.

It pays to check with your retailer to see if you can return waste items after use (e.g. paint tins, batteries, agricultural products or chemicals.)

Specialised recyclers and recycling schemes

Agrecovery periodically runs collection events for agrichemicals.

Terracycle runs company-funded recycling schemes for some hard-to-recyle items including toothbrushes, yoghurt pouches, glad products and coffee capsules.

Soft plastics including plastic bags can now be taken back to participating retailers to be recycled.

Kapiti Coast Freecycle allow you to list materials that may be of use to someone else for free pick up, or find free stuff for your own projects.

To find a scrap metal dealer, visit Scrap Metal Recycling Association of New Zealand or check the yellow pages.

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How do I get a recycling crate and/or bin?

For your home

If you live within the urban residential area, your rubbish collector will supply you with a recycling crate and/or bin, which remains their property. Contact your collector if you don't have a recycling bin or crate yet - contact details can be found here.

EnviroWaste and Low Cost Bins provide a wheelie bin for paper, cardboard, plastic and cans, along with a separate crate for glass items. All recyclables must go into the bin and crate loosely, i.e. don't bag your recycling. Wheelie bins and crates are emptied on alternate weeks.

Waste Management and Lucy's Bins provide one crate for all recyclables, which is emptied every week. Please pack the crate in a way that prevents recycling blowing out - different types of recyclable materials can be placed into the crate in bags for convenience and to prevent it blowing out. Waste Management customers can purchase an additional crate from Waste Management for the purposes of recycling if one crate is not big enough for their circumstances.

All recycling bins and crates are now registered to specific customers and addresses, so that the different collectors know where to collect from. If you are moving, make sure you let your collector know in advance and they will advise what to do with your crates and bins.

Only households within the urban collection area will receive a kerbside recycling service. Check out what you can do with your rubbish and recycling if you live in a rural are here

For your business or school

Businesses, schools and other organisations need to make an arrangement with a commercial recycling collector to have recycling collected from their properties.

It is often cheaper to have recycling collected than to have general waste collected. That means that by recycling and reducing the amount of general waste, schools and businesses can save money. 

There are two collectors that offer commercial recycling collections in Kapiti:

Fullcircle / OJI Fibre Solutions, contact: Jeremy StJohn,, Phone 04 5685848

Waste Management, contact: Raewyn Okey,,  Phone: 06 3578278  

Alternatively, recyclables can be dropped off free of charge at one of the district’s three transfer stations.

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My recycling has been missed - who do I call?

Please call your rubbish and recycling collector - contact details can be found here.

My property is not in an urban collection area, what can I do with my rubbish and recyclables?

The following options are available for rural residents:

  • Yellow pre-paid rubbish bags (Budget Waste) can be dropped off free-of-charge at Otaihanga, Waikanae and Ōtaki transfer stations (Note: EnviroWaste are phasing out the yellow pre-paid plastic bags. For more info about these changes, view our FAQS );
  • Plain rubbish bags or larger amounts of general waste (e.g. car boots, vans, trailers etc.) can be dropped off at Ōtaki Transfer Station or Otaihanga Resource Recovery Facility;
  • Wheelie-bin collectors can be contracted to provide a weekly, fortnightly or monthly on-property wheelie-bin collection;
  • Recyclables can be dropped off free-of-charge at any one of the district’s transfer stations; and 
  • Agrecovery and Plasback provide rural recycling services for many different horticultural and agricultural products. Some items are collected for free. Agrecovery collects chemicals, containers, and plastic drums. Call 0800 247 326 for more details or visit Plasback collects silage wrap, crop protection netting, plastic bags and drums, and twine. Call 0508 338 240 or visit for details.

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What happens once the recycling has been collected?

Most of the recyclables collected in the Kāpiti area are transported to the Otaihanga Resource Recovery Facility (ORRF).

The ORRF is run by MidWest Disposals. MidWest staff do everything they can to reduce the amount of waste which needs to be landfilled.

Aluminium cans from collection and drop off stations go to either Waste Management Recycling or Sims Pacific Metals. Both companies are located in Seaview. The aluminium cans are sorted, crushed and baled into 'bricks' in preparation for shipment to customers.

Recycled aluminium cans are taken by local scrap metal dealers and exported primarily to Australia for reprocessing.

At smeltering plants, the bricks are fed into a furnace where the aluminium melts. It is then cast into small 'ingots' or sheets ready for processing into products - such as new aluminium cans. Aluminium can be recycled over and over again without a loss of quality.

Steel cans are transported to either Waste Management Recycling or Sims Pacific Metals.

Used steel cans provide a good source of steel scrap. A steel mill in Auckland takes most of these cans, which are melted down ready to be recast into things like construction beams and girders.

Paper and cardboard is transported to Waste Management Recycling to be baled and exported or transported to NZ recyclers like Carter Holt Harvey.

The paper products are graded into 5 categories: newspapers, magazines, mixed paper, white paper and cardboard. These types are baled separately in preparation for transport. Paper is shredded and made into a pulp that is used to produce new paper products.

Recyclable plastic is transported to OJI’s recycling sorting plant in Lower Hutt, where it is sorted into the different grades (1-7) and baled. All number 1 plastics (PET) are recyled at Flight Plastics Ltd in Lower Hutt. A small amount of number 2 plastics are also recycled locally, but most plastics are exported - mostly to South East Asian countries.

The recyclers wash, shred and melt the plastic to form pellets or powder to be remade into products such as car bumpers, motor oil bottles, detergent bottles, pipes, buckets, rubbish bags, pallets, non-food bottles and material fibres that make things such as polar-fleece clothing, sails for boats, carpets and fibrefill.

When the commodities market falls, buyers/exporters are sometimes not able to move grade 3-7 plastics. The market fluctuates month by month. When there are limited markets, grade 3-7 plastics have to be stockpiled and sometimes, unfortunately, some have to go to landfill. This is not standard practice, however.

Besides the influence of the market for recyclables, a small amount of each load will go to landfill after sorting. The main reasons for this are broken glass contamination and/or non-recyclable materials (rubbish) mixed in with the recyclables. When such contamination occurs it makes the potentially recyclable products no longer usable for recycling.

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What can I do with greenwaste?

Home composting

The cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to deal with your greenwaste is to compost it at home. There are lots of resources available online on the ins and outs of composting, e.g. Create Your Own Eden.

Council's Green Gardener regularly runs workshops on composting, and also offers workshops on demand to groups. Contact or if you would like more information on home composting.

Community Mulcher Clubs

Community mulcher clubs have been set up by groups within the district using funds from the Waste Reduction Grants. An annual fee applies to join each club, this covers maintenance and eventual machine replacement, in addition to hire fees for use. Training is provided and safety equipment supplied with the mulcher.

Currently there are community mulcher clubs in:

  • Ōtaki
  • Waikanae Beach
  • Raumati South
  • Paekākāriki

Please email for more information and club contact details.

Greenwaste drop-off

Greenwaste can be dropped off for composting at Composting New Zealand's yard in Otaihanga, as well as at the Ōtaki and Waikanae transfer stations. The charges for greenwaste drop-off are set by Composting New Zealand and can be found here.

Greenwaste collection

Waste Management Ltd offers a greenwaste collection service in the Kāpiti area. For more information visit their website or call 0800 800 826.

What happens if I put greenwaste in my rubbish bin?

Greenwaste (and food waste) from our rubbish bins ends up in landfill. In a landfill, greenwaste can't break down into compost, as there is not enough air, moisture and microorganisms available for this process. Instead, it rots anaerobically and produces methane (a potent greenhouse gas). It also contributes to the formation of toxic leachate.That's why it's best to keep greenwaste and food waste out of our rubbish bins and out of landfill.

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Where can I recycle E-Waste?

How do I recycle my TV or computer monitor?

CRT TVs and computer monitors are accepted at the Ōtaki and Otaihanga transfer stations for recycling. A fee is charged for each unit. These items are not accepted as general waste.

Council subsidises the recycling fee by about 50 per cent using money from its share of the National Waste Levy (there is no contribution from rates). This means that residents will be charged per unit at the transfer station gate.

The subsidy has been very successful: to date, over 8,000 units dropped-off at Kāpiti transfer stations have been recycled by the accredited recyclers.

Other E-Waste

There is currently no drop-off for other types of e-waste in Kāpiti, but we are working on a local solution. In the meantime, the closest drop-off point for e-waste recycling is Trash Palace in Porirua.

What's my collection day?

Rubbish and recyling collection days are listed here. If you require a schedule for the fortnightly glass and non-glass recycling collection, please contact EnviroWaste on or 0800 438 224, or Low Cost Bins on 04 298 9333 (if you are a Low Cost Bins customer).

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How is rubbish and recycling collection organised in Kāpiti?

We follow a different model for kerbside collection services to a number of other councils around the country. Since 2013, these services have been provided to Kāpiti residents solely by independent operators. Our role is to monitor all collectors for their compliance to our licence conditions and the Solid Waste Bylaw.

The amount you pay for your weekly rubbish collection also covers the costs of recycling collection. There is no rates funding going towards kerbside collections. 

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